from the Superior Court in Pima County No. CR20144179001 The
Honorable Howard Fell, Judge Pro Tempore
Brnovich, Arizona Attorney General Joseph T. Maziarz, Chief
Counsel, Phoenix By Diane Leigh Hunt, Assistant Attorney
General, Tucson Counsel for Appellee
Feinman, Pima County Public Defender By Erin K. Sutherland,
Assistant Public Defender, Tucson Counsel for Appellant
Presiding Judge Staring authored the opinion of the Court, in
which Judge Miller and Judge Espinosa concurred.
STARING, Presiding Judge.
Darren Winegardner appeals his conviction for sexual conduct
with his minor stepdaughter, contending the trial court erred
by precluding him from impeaching the victim with evidence of
her prior misdemeanor shoplifting conviction. Because we
conclude the trial court did not err, we affirm
Winegardner's conviction and sentence.
and Procedural Background
We view the evidence in the light most favorable to
sustaining Winegardner's conviction. State v.
Foshay, 239 Ariz. 271, ¶ 2, 370 P.3d 618, 620 (App.
2016). One night in October 2012, Winegardner argued with his
wife, Rachel, whose fifteen-year-old daughter, L.B., was
present in the home. Rachel left the house, taking L.B.'s
younger siblings with her. L.B., however, stayed behind with
After Rachel had left, Winegardner and L.B. began drinking,
and she became intoxicated. Winegardner told L.B. it was
"really common for stepdads and daughters to engage in
sexual activities, " and asked if she wanted to have sex
with him. They then engaged in intercourse.
The next day, after L.B. told her mother what had occurred,
Rachel contacted the police, who had L.B. taken to the Child
Advocacy Center (CAC), where she underwent a forensic
interview and a medical examination. The examining physician
obtained swabs for a DNA analysis, and an external genital swab
subsequently revealed sperm matching Winegardner's DNA
The state indicted Winegardner on one count of sexual conduct
with a minor. He was convicted after a jury trial, and the
trial court sentenced him to a mitigated term of 3.5
years' imprisonment. This appeal followed. We have
jurisdiction pursuant to A.R.S. §§ 12-120.21
(A)(1), 13-4031, and 13-4033.
Prior to L.B.'s trial testimony, Winegardner informed the
trial court he intended to impeach her with a 2015
shoplifting conviction because it was a "crime of moral
turpitude." The court precluded him from doing so. After
her direct examination, he again sought to introduce evidence
of the prior conviction, and, again, the court refused.
Winegardner challenges the trial court's preclusion
rulings on two bases: Rule 609, Ariz. R. Evid., required the
court to permit evidence of the prior conviction because
shoplifting involves "deceit or false
presentation"; and the court's refusal to allow
impeachment with the conviction violated his rights to due
process and confrontation. "When reviewing a ruling on
the admissibility of prior convictions, this court will
overturn the trial court's determination only if it
proves to have been a clear abuse of discretion."
State v. Green,200 Ariz. 496, ¶ 7, 29 P.3d
271, 273 (2001). "An error of law constitutes an abuse
of discretion." State v. ...